Bipartisan ‘No Hate Act’ Introduced in US Congress to Combat Tide of Bigoted Violence
US Jewish groups praised the reintroduction on Thursday of bipartisan legislation to fight the rising tide of hate crimes against Asian-Americans and other groups, through better reporting systems and more law enforcement training.
The No Hate Act is led in the House by Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA), Fred Upton (R-MI), Judy Chu, (D-CA) and Vern Buchanan, (R-FL), along with Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS), who will introduce it on Monday in the Senate.
It will implement improved standards for reporting hate crimes, help law enforcement agencies better identify hate crimes, establish state-based hate crime hotlines, and allow judges to require offenders to undergo community service centered on the community targeted by the crime.
“With antisemitism on the rise, the United States needs to send a clear message that this odious form of hatred will not be tolerated,” said Rep. Buchanan.
“The Asian American community was raising the alarm about a horrifying wave of hate crimes across the country long before Atlanta,” said Rep. Beyer, referring to the March 16 shooting spree that left eight dead, including six women of Asian descent.
“The past decade has also seen high profile murderous incidents that specifically targeted Black Americans, Latinos, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, and many other groups. Too many of these hate crimes are never reported to the FBI, and it is more urgent than ever that Congress take action to strengthen the national response,” he continued.
In 2019, according to a statement from the legislators, more than 86 percent of agencies that participate in reporting hate crimes to the FBI reported a total of zero hate crimes.
Shira Loewenberg, Director of the Asia Pacific Institute at the American Jewish Committee, said that “the repugnant harassment and discrimination directed at Asian Americans is all too familiar to the Jewish community, and we are obligated to take action to oppose it. AJC will always stand united with our friends in the Asian American community against racism, xenophobia, and violence in any form.”
“Hate crimes cause pain and fear, not just for the individuals targeted, but for entire communities,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League. “For decades, ADL has led coalitions to advocate for hate crime laws to better protect marginalized communities, but even as we continue this work we see urgent need for more complete data and a better understanding of the factors that lead to attacks — that is what the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act would give us.”
The bill’s full name refers to Khalid Jabara, an Oklahoman of Lebanese descent who was murdered by his racist neighbor in 2016, and Heather Heyer, a woman killed while protesting against the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“With each new story of hate-motivated violence that is splashed across the news, and the knowledge that countless more never make headlines, our family hurts for those who are targeted,” the Jabara family in a statement. “The only way we, as a country, will ever know how to begin to address hate in our society is to collect accurate data,” said